I would think that the Pay Now option would be cheaper, but it's more expensive! The total cost of rental is almost double my flight cost.
So, why the heck would I Pay Now? Is there an added guarantee that my car will be waiting for me? I'm scared of all the money this trip is costing in travel alone.

This is a one way rental within the USA.

  • 2
    Renting from Avis. Seems to be the only place that has the locations I need. May 25, from Las Vegas to Cedar City, UT. Cheapest car option is Sub Compact. I'm in my 30s, no offenses. Total was $425+ for Pay Now. I found a coupon that brought it down to $375. But Pay Later is $275 with coupon.
    – Doug
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 23:35
  • 1
    yeah I've seen that too. I think rental car IT systems are very obscure, even for an employee. I've seen a lot of nonsensical prices. Anyway, just find the best price and always pay attention to the conditions.
    – Vince
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 11:45
  • This is what Hertz quotes me. $50 vs $400???? ![screen shot of rental site](i.sstatic.net/TFZFr.png)
    – user116848
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 4:33
  • 2
    @user116848 looks like a website error to me. Esp. since the Pay Now prices are equal for all categories, while Pay Later are not.
    – dunni
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 7:06
  • @user116848 Those "pay now" prices are absurd. That's not what renting such a vehicle should cost. Look at other rental places, or just check again in a few weeks, and see if they've fixed whatever error is causing this. Commented Mar 8, 2021 at 14:08

2 Answers 2


I cannot think of a great reason why you would want to do this. I suppose in theory your car might be more "guaranteed", but at a major location like Las Vegas (I'm assuming the airport?) it's highly unlikely they would run out of cars anyway.

Generally the only difference I've seen is that if you "Pay Now", the price is expressed in your home currency (if you were from outside the US), whereas otherwise it's expressed in dollars, the value of which could fluctuate slightly before your trip is complete and billed. This wouldn't worry me, but for some it might if you were on a tight budget.


Given the current situation with covid, rental companies are receiving a higher than usual number of cancellations, both at the request of the customer and when a rental location is required to close. It is easier and cheaper to process a cancellation if no money has been paid, so they may be deliberately encouraging payment to only be made once it is certain the rental will go ahead. The screenshot of Hertz search results shared by @user116848 includes a banner advertising "No Cancellation or Change fees when you pay later".

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